One of the three discussions during the “Hot Topics” session of DICE 2012 was mobile games vs. console games. On the console side was Zebra Partners principal Perrin Kaplan, formerly a longtime executive at Nintendo of America. On the mobile side was Addmired CEO Gabriel Leydon. It was an interesting discussion that brought up several fascinating points. Check out the video below. The mobile vs. console action starts at the 32:38 mark.
As far as delivery goes, I have to give it up to Leydon. He spoke in a very convincing and charming manner as he espoused the virtues of the free-to-play model used by many mobile games. It’s definitely something console publishers should explore, considering that the current model will not work for many games in the near future. Unfortunately, some of his points were complete garbage. Several of the console-game developers in attendance were insulted when Leydon said that many $60 games are exploitative and take advantage of gamers. This was also ironic coming from a company that makes money using the crack-cocaine model (first one is free!).
What was even more unfortunate is that Kaplan didn’t go after Leydon with the tenacity that most people expected. I’ve known Perrin for more than a decade and my feeling going into the discussion was, “Perrin is going to eat this boy for lunch.” For various reasons, Kaplan was either “too nice” or “totally soft” in the debate. Personally, I was waiting for her to snap and go on a charming rant that started with, “Listen you little sh*t!!!” Sadly, it didn’t happen.
Despite the debaters being very (overly?) cordial, this was a good discussion and many interesting points were brought up. As someone that writes about, plays, and enjoys both console games and mobile games, it was a fun discussion to listen to. If you have a chance to listen to the debate, please leave your thoughts in the comments section. Also, watch me get called out by Perrin at the 1:03:33 mark for making a wise comment about my former coworker Adam Sessler. That’s what I get for being the peanut gallery.